The Holocene: An Environmental History, 2nd Edition
June 1998, Wiley-Blackwell
Completely revised and updated to take full account of the most recent advances, the new edition of this established text includes substantial material on scientific progress in the understanding of climate change and abrupt climatic events, of disturbance effects on the landscape, and of ice core records. Not only have improved dating methods, such as luminescence, been included but the timescale for the book has been moved to calendar (i.e. real) years. Coverage and supporting case study material have also been broadened and extended.
Preface to the Second Edition.
Sources of Information on Past Environments.
Nature and Society.
The Significance of the Holocene.
2. Reconstructing Holocene Environments:.
Dating the Past.
Radiometric Dating Methods.
Dendrochronology and Radiocarbon Calibration.
Other Incremental Dating Methods.
Principles of Pollen Analysis.
Pollen, Climate and Human Impact.
Plant Macrofossils and Charcoal. Geological Techniques.
Stable Isotope Analysis.
Geomorphology and Climate.
Models of Environmental Reconstruction.
3. The Pleistocene Prelude (>11,500 Cal. yr BP):.
The Glacial-Interglacial Cycle.
Understanding the Causes of Long-Term Climatic Change.
The Last Glacial Maximum and After.
The Terminal Pleistocene (16,000-11,5000 Cal. yr BP).
The Late-Glacial in the British Isles.
Terminal Pleistocene Climatic Oscillation: Global or Regional?.
Adjustment of Geomorphic Systems.
Human Ecology at the End of the Pleistocene.
4. Early Holocene Adaptations (11,500-5000 Cal. yr BP):.
Changes in the Physical Environment.
Ice Sheets and Sea Levels.
Human Adaptations to Coastal Environments.
Lake Ontogeny and Soil Development.
The Return of the Forests.
Europe. Eastern North America.
Dry Mediterranean Woodland.
Factors Affecting Forest Re-Advance.
The Ecology of Mesolithic Europe.
The Early Holocene in the Tropics.
Early Holocene Climates: Pattern and Process.
5. The First Farmers:.
Mesoamerica. China and Southeast Asia.
Independent Innovation or Diffusion?.
The Role of Environmental Change in Early Agriculture.
Case Study: Ain Mallaha Çatalhöyük.
Early Agricultural Impacts.
European Agricultural Dispersals.
Ecological Consequences of Early European Agriculture.
6. The Taming of Nature (5000-500 Cal. yr BP):.
Changes in the Natural Environment.
Climate and Vegetation.
The Origin and Development of Blanket Mires.
Coasts and Rivers.
Hydraulic Civilization in Mesopotamia.
Environmental Impact in Prehispanic Mesoamerica.
Pastoral Nomadism. Expansion at the Periphery.
Conquest of the Northlands.
The Making of the Landscape: the British Isles.
The Primaeval Forest.
Shaugh Moor: a Bronze Age Landscape.
The Environmental Impact of Permanent Agricultural Clearance.
7. The Impact of Modern Times (500-0 Cal. yr BP):.
Climatic Changes in Historical Times.
Land Use History and Soil Erosion.
Eutrophication: Natural or Cultural?.
Acidification and Atmospheric Pollution.
8. The Environmental Future: A Holocene Perspective:.
Holocene Environmental Crises.
Environmental Conservation and Holocene History.
Appendix: Calibration Table for Radiocarbon Ages.
- Fully updated in the light of new research methods and findings.
- Coverage has been extended to include environmental change in the Americas.
- Inclusion of a new, detailed bibliography in which a wider range of references is employed.
"Neil Roberts' book on the Holocene is already a classic. All the additions and changes of the second edition may be sumarized as positive improvements to what was already an excellent book. Most importantly, the science has been updated without changing its distinctive character. At the same time, the book has been brightened up, which makes it all the more attractive to handle and read. More power to Neil Roberts' already considerable elbow as he takes up the Chair in Physical Geography at the University of Plymouth!" John Matthews, The Holocene
"Roberts, by background a geographer, has obviously immersed himself in the other disciplines, and he has turned out a wonderful and very up-to-date synthesis of the present state of knowledge about the history of the Holocene. Although this is the second edition. It is in many places a complete rewrite of the original, integrating most of the new discoveries and reinterpretations in this field. One of the surprising pleasures is that the author combines excellent scholarship with a very enjoyable writing style. For those who wish to learn more, the 48-page bibliography is a comprehensive source to the relevant primary literature. Highly recommended to general readers and students and scholars at all levels." C. W. Dimmick, Central Connecticut State University
"Here is a book at once erudite and understandable (there is a helpful glossary, a thorough bibliography and an appendix concerning radiocarbon ages), necessary reading for students, and those with an interest in our hapless history." Ecology
"As a readable and attractive introduction suitable for non-specialists, illustrated with a good selection of colour photographs and some excellent diagrams and maps, The Holocene should attract a wide readership." Danny Yee, University of Sydney
"This text, now as a second edition, is without doubt one of the finest efforts to comprehensively examine the earth's changing surface over the past 15,000 years. Above all what is learned from The Holoceneis that change frequently is revolutionary not evolutionary. The 10,000-year perspective provides stimulating and fascinating reading for all environmental professionals." Constantine N. Raphael, Eastern Michigan University
"With its global coverage, The Holocene provides an excellent introduction to the late Quaternary. I have used the new edition, and previously the first edition, to launch an upper-level seminar in paleoecology and paleoclimatology. The students enjoy the broad overview that it gives with abundant mention of human activities. With over 900 references of which a third are from the 1990s, the book gives readers a good sense of the vast literature available; and, with further updating from GeoRef and other on-line sources, readers can investigate research topics with a sense of the many issues involved."Thompson Webb III, Brown University
"The first edition was comprehensive and well received, and this edition builds on that basis, employing many of these recent advances to refine and expand the picture Roberts painted in the first edition." Peter Gell, University of Adelaide
"The attraction of the book lies in its geographical scope and the reader is treated to well illustrated examples from the Near East, North and Meso America, and South East Asia, drawing upon the author's research experience. His enthusiasm for his subject is conveyed in a lucid and lively text and in his catholic interests." Scottish Geographical Review